Miracles still happen

I had no idea when I set my goal to attend the temple 40 times before I turned 40 what the Lord had in store. When I reflect on that year, I see so many miracles and tender mercies. It honestly makes me a little emotional.
As wonderful as 2019 was, it did come with some sadness. For a whole year, my little family of four planned a dream trip to Ireland. We planned, saved, and booked things. Our friends live there, so they were part of the planning. When we flew to Ireland, we were all very excited. We landed early in the morning on a Sunday. I powered on my phone while waiting for the bus to take us to our friend’s home. Then I got the message that my 98-year-old grandmother passed away. I think because of the jetlag, I didn’t fully digest her passing at that moment. She was 98 and lived a full life. Her husband, my grandfather, passed away when I was ten, and she never remarried. I can only imagine the reunion they must have had. My father converted to the church, and my grandfather, on his death bed told my father not to do his work and that if he did, he would haunt my Dad. All joking aside, when my Dad did his work, he knew his father, who in this life despised the church, had accepted the gospel on the other side of the veil. So, when my grandma passed away, I knew we would do her work.
She died in October 2019, and at that time, we had to wait one year to do temple work. We all know what happened six months later when the global pandemic hit. All the temples closed. This meant that my grandma’s work was not done a year later. Fast forward to 2022, and her work still needed to be done. We wanted to do it; we just wanted to do it all in one day, which is hard to do when you must make appointments for all the ordinances. My older sister, who lives in Texas, said she was coming to Utah to come to my niece and nephews’ graduations and thought it would be a great idea to do my grandma’s work at that time. We talked with my mom, who said that there were no appointments. This was not a surprise because the Bountiful Temple is always busy, especially with the Salt Lake Temple closed.
After I got off the phone with her, I had the impression that I needed to check the Ogden temple for baptismal appointments. To my surprise, they had appointments. I then checked appointments for all the proceeding ordinances. We wanted to do all her ordinances in one day. Every time I checked another appointment, there were openings. I quickly made appointments and then let my parents and sister know. We were all overjoyed and knew that the hand of the Lord and probably my grandma had played a part in those appointments being available. I am sure she was up in heaven, thinking she had waited long enough. What makes this day even more incredible is that my sister’s husband, a pilot, did not have to work the day before or the day after, so he could fly in and be there as well.
May 24th, 2022 is a day that I will not soon forget. All my family who could be in the temple that day was there. My daughter and niece were able to do her baptism and confirmation. My older sister did her initiatory, and I was able to do her endowment. My parents were then sealed by proxy for my grandma and grandfather that day. Then my Dad was sealed to his parents for time and all eternity. The spirit in that sealing room was palpable, and I have no doubt my grandparents were there.
So often, it feels like getting to the temple is a chore or something to mark off for the week or month. But it is so much more than that. It is a place to learn to be how to continue to progress spiritually in our daily lives. We can go there to receive guidance, knowledge, and anything else the Lord sees fit to share with us. It will change your life. Let me repeat that, and it will change your life. I saw the healing power of the Atonement work on me in 2019 in ways I never thought possible. Since 2019 I’ve had many people tell me that I’m different than I was before 2019. While I’m still the same person, the temple did change me. I don’t feel like myself if I go longer than a few weeks to go to the temple. When life seems more challenging than normal, it is a place I can go to turn for peace. The time we spend in the temple is always well-spent because the time you spend, there will enrich your life and those on the other side of the veil. I remember in 2019, when I was going to the temple at such a high frequency, my family would comment that they could tell when I went longer than a week because I seemed to be moodier. While the moody part may be true, the temple did help me in so many different aspects of my life. It was undoubtedly a place that helped me chill out and be less tense, and peace became easier. I hope that everyone who goes to the temple will feel what is there for all of us. Don’t be discouraged, though. It isn’t like a light switch that the minute you turn it on, that light pours into the room. It is more like a light that gets brighter over time, and your life is changed for the better.

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